Thembinkosi Sekgaphane
Phakaaathi Digital Administrator
1 minute read
9 Dec 2015
1:28 pm

Coetzee – lapse in concentration can cost you the tournament

Thembinkosi Sekgaphane

Ajax Cape Town and South Africa's Under-23 defender Rivaldo Coetzee believes that staying focused when Amagluglug face Algeria

in the semi-final of the Caf Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations is the key to South Africa qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Amagluglug beat Tunisia last Friday to book a spot in the semifinal.

Coetzee is the youngest member of the team and the most experienced campaign having represented Bafana Bafana 11 times.

“I know how difficult it is to go into the lead or trail – that lapse of concentration can cost you the whole tournament. And that’s what happened to us at Afcon with Bafana Bafana. We were leading all our games and come second half then we lose, so it will be important for us to keep the focus and make sure we don’t concede any silly goals,” said Coetzee.

The wunderkind is aware of how qualifying for next year’s Olympic Games could change their fortunes as individuals while making the country proud.

South Africa’s Under-23 squad that qualified for the 2000 Sydney Olympics went on to produce some of the biggest names in South African football. Benni McCarthy, Matthew Booth, Steve Lekoelea, Jabu Mahlangu and Siyabonga Nomvethe were part of the squad that beat Brazil in Brisbane, Australia.

“Everyone knows how big this is, qualifying for Rio can do for us and our careers it’s another stage for us to make a name for ourselves and secure contracts overseas. For the guys that don’t play that much going back to our respective clubs and get some game time after coaches saw what they did at the tournament, it’s for ourselves and the country as well.”